➡️ ✥ ✵ ✺ ✹ Resources, links and frequently discussed topics (FAQ).

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In the present thread you will find:
Threads on frequently discussed topics of English
English FAQs (frequently asked questions about English grammar and word usage.)International Phonetic Alphabet links
On pronunciation and International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) notation.

Some very useful external links
These are online resources that have been referred to often in this forum.​
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  • International Phonetic Alphabet links

    a) Link to a phonetic typewriter for English (with thanks to LV4-26)

    IPA Typewriter
    You will need to copy and paste the letters into WR using the Lucida Sans Unicode font for the symbols to show. Also, for some people you can only see the symbols once you hit preview for your message.

    b) Links to a description of the actual values of phonetic symbols.

    International Phonetic Alphabet chart for English dialects - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    IPA transcription in Unicode [links to PDF file]

    c) Link to example words represented by the symbols.


    d) Alternative phonetic typewriter for code - many more symbols so a bit slower to load.


    e) The full alphabet

    Linguiste.org - Linguistic research and open-source software for Computational Linguistics.

    f) Generally useful stuff thanks to Panjandrum

    Lost redirect [no longer works]

    g) View animations of phoneme pronunciations on the University of Iowa website (with thanks to PolCas and roxcyn)

    < No longer works >

    h) Various alphabets (thanks cyberpedant)

    Alphabets, Ecritures dans toutes les langues - LEXILOGOS >>

    Pronunciation links *

    a) Links to hear pronunciations of words in English, Spanish, German and French:

    Acapela HQ TTS Interactive Demo

    Accents of English from around the world - hear them and see the IPA at this University of Edinburgh site.


    Forvo: Many languages, including English
    - lots of words spoken by different people from around the world.

    YouGlish.com -
    English spoken by real people and in context.

    A comprehensive British Library site - with commentary, explanations, and examples of UK English.
    * Note: Rule 4 requires that all audio links be approved by a moderator before posting. The websites listed in the Pronunciation links section can be considered 'pre-approved'. You won't need specific moderator's approval to post a link to one of these, but be sure to explain in the post that the website is listed in our Resources thread.
    If anyone has any more links they think are relevant, please contact a moderator in the English forum with the information.
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    English FAQs (frequently asked questions)

    There are some topics that appear very often in this forum.
    Here is a handy reference guide to some of those questions:

    A or an - Which should be used before nouns beginning with h, and other difficult cases.

    Adjectives order
    - For information about the guidelines on the order of adjectives and examples.

    Among, amongst

    Among or between? - Which should we use? Is there a difference?

    As and like- Can they be interchanged? When should each be used?

    Can, could - The different usages of can and could - see also may, might.

    Collective nouns- Do they require singular or plural verbs?

    Comma thread portal with info, key word links and topic sentences

    Comparative- More and most, or -er and est?

    Countable, uncountable - Count and non-count nouns. Specific examples and can they be both?

    Date format - how to write and read dates in different parts of the world.
    Chose the most relevant link:

    Dates, naming the decades - And especially, what do we call the 2000s: the noughties?

    Double negatives - How do you understand "He hasn't got no friends"?

    Gender neutral pronouns
    - What pronoun to use with a 3rd person singular precedent.

    Gerund, infinitive - The difference in use between <verb>ing and to <verb> (eg. I like to ski, I like skiing).

    Gerund, possessive - He was upset about me or my lying to him?

    Got & gotten - Which forms are used where.

    - How are you? How's you? How's it going? How do you do? ... and many others.

    I have (got) -

    I or me? - Than me or than I?; than him or than he?; etc, etc

    I me - For lots of threads discussing whether to use I or me. Scroll down the list to those beginning I/me for the most focussed threads.
    You could also try a tag search for I or me.

    May & might - The difference between The flight may / might be delayed. See also can, could.

    Me myself - Is it correct to say "Please send the answer to myself."

    Meals - General information about meals and meal times. See also Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner, Supper.

    Numbers - speaking, saying, writing in full

    Possessive - Where to put the apostrophe on words ending with s/z, proper nouns, inanimate nouns.

    Preposition - General questions about the use of prepositions.
    Preposition at in - If you want to know more about at/in shops, schools, ...
    Preposition hospital - What are the different usages for prepositions and articles?
    Preposition sentence - Is it OK to put a preposition at the end of a sentence?
    Preposition street - Should I say at, in or on the street?

    Punctuation rules in English
    Punctuation quotation - Where to place punctuation marks when using quotation marks.

    See, watch - Do you see a movie or watch a movie, for example.

    Subjunctive - Lots of questions about the use of the subjunctive mood in English.

    Superlative - General forms and particular examples.

    Tag questions - Lots of threads about the appropriate tag question for various kinds of statement.

    Tag question - aren't I - Lots of threads specifically about first person singular tag questions: aren't I, amn't I, ain't I, am I not, etc

    "to not, not to" -

    Used to, would- The difference between used to <verb> would <verb>.

    Used to, use to - Different usages, including negatives.

    Who, whom - Which to use in different examples.

    Will, be going to
    - The difference, if any, between "I will eat you," and "I am going to eat you."

    Will, shall-

    While, whilst - Is there a difference? Which form is preferred?

    Would, should -

    Would, will

    Years - Saying years- how to speak, pronounce, year numbers such as 1600, 1700, ...

    Suggestions for other key topics are welcome.
    These are links that have been referred to very often in this forum (part I):

    Adjective order in English

    SS > factoids > adjective order in English


    Articles – The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Using Articles --University of Toronto on use of articles in English (Thanks to PaulQ!)

    Special Cases in the Use of the Definite Article ----University of Toronto

    Bartleby.com includes many sources, especially useful for Mencken on American Language, Fowler, and Strunk and White:
    Reference: Thesaurus, Usage, Quotations, and more. Bartleby.com

    Guide to Punctuation - University of Sussex

    US Government Printing Office on capitalization:
    PDF -- Style Manual chapter that deals with capitalization.​


    This important collection links to many corpora
    (Thanks to KHS!)

    It includes American English Corpora:
    As well as some overlap with those listed below.

    The British National Corpus (BNC), around 100 million words, spoken and written:
    [bnc] British National Corpus

    An alternative, and more extensive search of the BNC (through a university website):
    British National Corpus (BYU-BNC)

    A corpus based on Time Magazine, also around 100 million words:
    TIME Magazine Corpus of American English

    Simple search through Collins (the dictionary publishers) Wordbank:
    ELT | COBUILD Reference | The Collins Corpus

    The Compleat Lexical Tutor, a concordancer with rather limited corpora, but which allows you to choose the type of English you are most interested in:
    Compleat Lexical Tutor

    The University of Michigan has several different corpora, one of which is a corpus of academic spoken English:
    Micase Online Home Page

    Differences between American and British English. Here’s a list of various British words and expressions together with their American equivalents.
    British and American terms - Oxford Dictionaries

    Errors that are frequent in different varieties of English
    Common Errors in English

    The Online Etymology Dictionary – The basic sources of this work include the Oxford English Dictionary (2nd edition) and Chapman’s Dictionary of American Slang:
    Online Etymology Dictionary

    Word Detective – For more etymology:
    Index of Previous Columns
    (Google Ngram Viewer)Search "lots of books" to discover how often one or several combinations of words have been used over time.
    Google Ngram Viewer

    Grammar etc.
    The Internet Grammar of English:
    The Internet Grammar of English

    All kinds of useful information from the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University:
    Purdue OWL

    The University of Victoria Language Centre
    English Language Centre Study Zone: Welcome!

    Verb tenses explained:
    ENGLISH PAGE - Verb Tense Tutorial

    English Tenses

    English Grammar - Table of Content - A free online educational resource - Word Power

    Capital Community College Foundation guide to grammar and writing.
    Guide to Grammar and Writing

    edufind.com - Online English Grammar resources
    English grammar guide | English Grammar | EF
    Oxford Dictionaries guidance:
    English Dictionary, Thesaurus, & grammar help | Oxford Dictionaries

    Online English Verb Conjugation (Verbix.com)
    Verbix -- Germanic languages -- conjugate English verbs

    Idioms at UsingEnglish.com. Dictionary of English idioms & idiomatic expressions:
    English Idioms, Phrases & Idiomatic Expressions - UsingEnglish.com

    Idioms at Rice University’s ESL page:
    Idioms: Introduction

    Idioms at TheFreeDictionary.com:
    Idioms and phrases

    Listening to accents and dialects
    BBC Voices of English - shows British English accent and dialect variation

    International Dialect Variation - shows international varieties of English

    Do You Speak American? - US accent and dialect variation

    Phonetics: The sounds of American English (English sounds) from the University of Iowa

    Dialect Survey Results - dialect maps (of the US), displaying what terms and pronunciations are used, and where they are used (2003).

    IDEA: International Dialects of English Archive - gives actual extracts from conversations in English accents from around the world

    Sounds Familiar? - the British Library page:
    Sounds Familiar? UK accents and dialects

    Additional British Library webpage:

    Speech Accent Archive - The same text spoken by various English speakers from around the world. -

    English pronunciation dictionary - English pronunciation guide.

    See also pronunciation and IPA links. Some are listed HERE
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    These are links that have been referred to very often in this forum (part II):

    Language & Literature
    Explore literary treasures, everyday ephemera, and the complex history of the English language, with unique texts from the British Library collection:
    Online resources

    Phrasal Verbs
    – 2426 current English phrasal verbs:
    English Phrasal Verbs - UsingEnglish.com

    Phrases in use
    – an index to real examples of phrases in normal use:
    Improve Your Writing skills

    UK English, University of Sussex:

    Guide to Punctuation - University of Sussex

    US English, Capital Community College Foundation:
    Punctuation Marks

    US English, the Owl at Purdue University:
    Purdue OWL: Punctuation

    The Punctuation Guide

    US Government Printing Office:
    Start at U.S. Government Publishing Office Style Manual
    and search for punctuation.

    The most feared punctuation on earth, by The Oatmeal:

    How to use a semi-colon.

    Oxford Dictionaries guidance:

    Online Thesaurus

    Thesaurus.com - The world's favorite online thesaurus!

    Monolingual English Dictionaries

    Related Projects | WordNet: In the column on the left side, click on: Use Wordnet Online

    Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English | LDOCE

    Oxford Dictionaries Online:
    Free access to short entries in both British and American English. Full entries on subscription
    Oxford Dictionaries | The World's Most Trusted Dictionary Provider

    At the bottom of the definition page for each word, there are links to:
    Clicking on either of these links on the definition page will take you to the entry for the word in that dictionary.
    BE (British English) Dictionaries:
    Compact Oxford English Dictionary (COED):
    Oxford Dictionaries | The World's Most Trusted Dictionary Provider

    Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary:
    Oxford Learner's Dictionaries | Find definitions, translations, and grammar explanations at Oxford Learner's Dictionaries

    Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary:

    Useful Advice on choosing a dictionary
    British vs American dictionaries.

    Odd/unusual English Dictionaries

    Dictionary of Americanisms, by John Russell Bartlett (1848)
    sitemap for merrycoz.org

    Australian National Dictionary: A Dictionary of Australianisms on Historical Principles

    Dictionary of the Scots Language
    Dictionary of the Scots Language :: Home

    Timelines showing the increase in the number of words in the English lexicon over time:

    If you have access to the online OED* there's a link to a feature called Timelines on the front page. It starts with a bar graph by half-century and you can refine the search. The number of words entering the language in each period rose slowly to some 33 000 in 1500-1549, then jumped to a peak of 80 000 in 1600-1649, then declined: only 47 000 in 1750-1799.​
    This sets us up for the huge jump after 1800: 106 000 in 1800-1849, then about 154 000 in 1850-1899, much larger than in the twentieth century (90 000 to 1949, 53 000 to 1999).​
    *Many public libraries in English speaking countries provide access to the OED, as do many university libraries.​
    This is a summary of information posted elsewhere in the forum by entangledbank.​
    Any mistakes are my own. Cagey, moderator​
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